Each year, the EEOC releases updated charge statistics and the charges that top the list tend to reflect what the nation has collectively gone through in the last twelve months. Societal issues such as race, gender, or religious discrimination would seemingly have a substantial influence on the report but surprisingly, their impact wasn’t as noticeable.
Topping the list, for another year, was retaliation, and while reports are down from 2021, 51.6% of the charges remained focused on this issue. With retaliation remaining prominent as a charges issue, it highlights a need for clear steps on how to reduce these numbers and avoid being charged by the EEOC for claims of retaliation. But where do we start?
COMMITMENT TO THE EMPLOYEE
Once an employee comes forward with a complaint, it becomes imperative that they feel supported and reassured. They should feel confident that they are being heard and will not face any form of retaliation. We’ve gathered some simple steps so you can make sure this is communicated clearly and ease the employee’s mind.
- Thank the employee for coming forward and readily assure them that they’ve done the right thing in coming forward. Take a moment to remind the employee of the company’s commitment to equal opportunity as well as any other similar company policies that protect and support them.
- Along with the equal opportunity policies, the employee should be made aware of the company’s retaliation policies. If they are already aware of the policy, a quick review should be helpful in the event they have any questions. Ask the employee to report any further experiences that might occur as a result of the report or investigation.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the employee. Be aware that retaliation can be an immense concern and having support will be very valuable to the person coming forward. What would you like to hear?
REASSURE AND TAKE ACTION
While these first few steps are a great starting point, it’s even more important to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Fully documenting and supporting your company’s anti-retaliation policies will promote a higher level of communication and trust among employees.
You might not find yourself in a retaliation situation yet, it’s better to get ahead of the game rather than fall behind. Protecting your employees, fully adopting an Incident and Policy Management solution to help identify and address any patterns of retaliation, and enhancing other strategies such as employee reporting, management observations, and exit interviews, can ensure that your company can avoid unnecessary EEOC charges.
Whatever steps you take, the data doesn’t lie. Retaliation is a glaring issue among EEOC charges and how a company responds can make a world of difference. Find out how Star's Incident Management Solution offers future-ready features to help you protect your company’s assets, reputation, and employees while elevating employee retention, productivity, and visibility throughout your organization.